The community will get a look at the proposed future of the Upper Hunter on Friday, April 13 with two Hunter Coal Festival Community Updates.

At the Muswellbrook Workers Club, the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Hunter Director Stephen Wills will present an update of the Upper Hunter Synoptic Plan Review and Sima Williamson (Principal Regulatory Reform Officer – Environmental Sustainability Unit) from the  Division of Resources and Geoscience will present on reforms to regulations governing rehabilitation of mined land.

The Synoptic Plan was prepared in 1999 as an integrated approach to landscape management and post-mining rehabilitation of the Hunter coalfield.

Key points of the Synoptic Plan seeks to integrate final landforms from mining operations to best meet the environmental, economic and social needs of the Hunter.

This is the first official review of the plan since its inception in 1999 and a working group comprising government, community and mining industry representatives has been reviewing the plan since a workshop was held in Singleton in June 2017.

Mr Wills will report on the progress of the review.

As part of the focus on the future of the Upper Hunter at the April 13 Community Updates, Ms Williamson will explain new rehabilitation regulations being introduced by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Division of Resources and Geoscience.

The reform project aims to ensure:

  • progressive rehabilitation occurs;
  • sustainable rehabilitation outcomes are achieved;
  • integration of mine closure and rehabilitation planning into design;
  • flexibility to allow for continuous improvement and adaptive management;
  • foster industry innovation to achieve best practice rehabilitation.

This is a must see event for anyone interested in the future of the Hunter. There is no entry fee to the Community Updates which will allow ample time for questions following the presentations, however attendees must register at as seating is limited.

The updates start at 10am and will finish by noon.